Eight works in 11 volumes, published in London by William Pickering, mixed editions various dates 1833 – 1845.
Bound in full contemporary polished calf, boards gilt ruled, the spines with gilt lined raised bands, altered direct and dated at the foot of spine. Very good copies with an occasional mark externally and a faint damp stain to the uncoloured geology plates, outer corner. The famous massive folding coloured plate is in fine condition. Each volume carries the bookplate of Maximillian Dudley Digges Dalison.
Francis Henry Egerton, 8th Earl of Bridgwater, a gentleman naturalist and scientist, commissioned the Bridgewater Treatises to be written on his death bed. He died in February 1829. Eight thousand pounds was given to the President of the Royal Society for this purpose. In turn the President appointed leading authorities in key fields to write works with reference to Natural Theology.
The Voyager Treatise comprise Thomas Chalmers – The Adaption of External Nature to the Moral and Intellectual Condition of Man; John Kidd – The Adaption of External Nature to the Physical Condition of Man; William Whewell – Astronomy and General Physics; Sir Charles Bell – The Hand, Its Mechanism and Vital Endowments as Evincing Design; Peter Mark Roget – Animals and Vegetable Physiology; William Buckland’s – Geology and Mineralogy; William Kirby – On the History, Habits and Instincts of Animals and William Prout – Chemistry, Meteorology and the Function of Digestion.
The ninth and final Bridgewater Treatise – Charles Babbage – A Fragment is not included in the run.
Many of the volumes stand alone as important works … Sir Charles Bell on the Hand, Astronomy by Whewell etc. It is the Rev Buckland that produced a truly remarkable work in the field of Geology. The second of two volumes contains all the 87 plates required all finely engraved and the large folding hand coloured plate is something very special.
Rev William Buckland (1784-1856) was an exceptional individual – a Fellow of the Royal Society, President of the Royal Geological Society. His interest in geology and palaeontology led him to write the first full account of a fossil dinosaur which he named Megalosarurus. He discovered the Kirkdale cave and concluded that it had been a prehistoric hyena den – for which he was awarded the Copley Medal by the Royal Society. This work was written just prior to his awakening that certain geological structures and fossil remains were a result of glaciation and not the effect of floodwaters from the great deluge. Buckland was a friend of a young Charles Darwin – there must have been some very interesting conversations.
Important Georgian/ Early Victorian intellectual works by leading academics of the day